Wenger plans double swoop on City for Barry and Lescott
Arsenal could be set for a double raid on Manchester City’s Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott after being alerted that the pair are part of a widespread clear out at the Ethiad that will see some big names available at cut down prices.
City will listen to offers for Barry starting at £3.5million and Lescott at £6million and with Wenger being rebuffed for a number of his targets such as Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender and Swansea’s Ashley Williams with both clubs asking for big money, Wenger may turn to City for value.
The Arsenal manager has long been an admirer of Barry but would be wary of signing the 32 year old on anything other than a short contract as he attempts to strengthen the spine of his team with bids for midfielders such as Bender and Everton’s Marounane Fellaini.
Lescott meanwhile could fit better into Wenger’s plans as he looks for a stable influence in the centre of defence following the release of Sébastien Squillaci.
Wenger has three international centre backs in Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny but tiwth Squillaci and Johan Djourou set for the exit, he would be willing to offer the 30 year a two year contract on cut down wages.
Lescott knows that his time at City is near an end following the emergence of Matija Nastasic last season and would jump at the chance to remain in a Champions League team in the Premier League during the run up to the World Cup.
The moves may come as somewhat of a disappointment for Arsenal fans as Wenger has been keen to spend the £75million transfer budget allotted to him but has found little value in the search for targets other than Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Wenger has made substantial bids for Bender, Fellaini and Lyon’s Clement Gernier but all have been rejected by the clubs so the North Londoners have been forced to look elsewhere in their search for high quality replacements in defence and midfield.
With Higuain set to be complete in the coming days, Wenger will look to finish out the negotiations for QPR stopper Julio Cesar before going back in for the midfield trio of Bender, Fellaini and Gernier.
33 year old Cesar has also received interest from Barcelona but wants to remain in London and will be allowed to leave Loftus road as a free agent as Redknapp sees no future for the player at the club.